The case for medicinal cannabis

My dad only ever tried marijuana once, when he was with some hockey mates in his 20s. “I didn’t like it,” he told me. “It made me skittish and jumpy; I much prefer a beer.”

When he was aged in his 70s, I tried to convince him to try it again.

Because by then, my dad was dying of cancer. He was in excruciating pain, and the script of endone his doctor kept prescribing just wasn’t cutting it.

With cancer growing in his bones, and the act of even standing up causing him to wince, we were looking for anything and everything that could ease his pain.

A friend of a friend who was very active in the cancer healing community offered to find us some medicinal cannabis; can’t hurt to try, I thought?

It was a little trickier to procure that we imagined. There is a legal process in Australia for sourcing and using medicinal cannabis, but it can (understandably) only be prescribed by a medical practitioner, is done on a case-by-case basis.

This is causing many people who are in pain and dealing with serious medical conditions to seek out cannabis in less legal, more risky ways, says Elisabetta Faenza, CEO, LeafCann Group & Medicinal Cannabis Precision Medicine Expert.

“If the legal medicinal cannabis sector is unable to grow and produce enough medicine to satisfy demand, many patients will look to the dangerous black market,” Faenza says.

“The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved the use of medicinal cannabis for neuropathic or nerve pain, yet many doctors are still wary of prescribing it – despite the growing volume of studies that are showing very promising results from controlled products.

“Accelerating growth of the legitimate medicinal cannabis sector, not backyard operations, is the only way to ensure more people access safe pain relief.”

In my dad’s case, we never got it over the line; he became too sick, too soon, and had to be moved to a hospice for full-time care.

But for others’ who are suffering from cancer or other debilitating diseases, I see no reason why medicinal cannabis shouldn’t be more freely available.

What do you think? Should we aim to make medicinal cannabis easier for patients to access – or do you think a more open system would lead to abuse and misuse?

Cute new photos of Prince Louis released to mark his first birthday

Adorable new photos of Prince Louis have been released ahead of his first birthday on Tuesday.

The photos were taken by the Duchess of Cambridge earlier this month and the family’s country estate in Norfolk.

The photos show a rosy-cheeked Louis playing in the gardens of their home.

Louis is dressed in a red jumper in two of the photos while in the third he’s wearing a cute blue jumper with a dog on the front.

Prince Louis was born on April 23, 2018 but few photos of him have been released.

Image: Kensington Palace

The fifth in line to throne was photographed leaving hospital with William and Catherine while five official photos were released following his christening.

He appeared in the Cambridge’s family Christmas photo sitting on Catherine’s lap.

Louis was also snapped with big sister Charlotte ahead of her third birthday.

Image: Kensington Palace

Image; Kensington Palace

Gold Coast Boats

14 boats destroyed during Gold Coast Waterways cleanup

MORE THAN a dozen boats, along with other pieces of abandoned property have been destroyed as part of a pre-Easter clean-up of Gold Coast waterways.

The 14 vessels – from various parts of the Coast, including The Broadwater, Paradise Point, Marine Stadium and some local canals – had either been left to rot, or their owners had failed to follow removal notices.

As a result, they’re being crushed up and disposed ahead of Easter, as part of a clean-up by the Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA).

GCWA CEO, Hal Morris, said the recovery and crushing operation is part of the GCWA’s ongoing efforts to keep our waterways safer and accessible for everyone.

“These boats and abandoned property pose potential threats to the safe enjoyment of the waterways by other users,” Mr Morris said in a statement.

“The boats have either been abandoned by their owners or have overstayed their welcome in anchoring zones, so we’ve had to issue notices to have them removed,” he explained.

“We’ve spent more than $15,000 on this exercise. Unfortunately, that’s money taxpayers have had to stump up because some people aren’t doing the right thing on our waterways.

“Where we can, we try and sell the property to recover some of that cost but in this case, the boats aren’t considered seaworthy and can’t be sold so our only option is to destroy them.”

GCWA encourages people concerned about abandoned vessels and property or anchoring breaches to contact them on 5539 7350.


11 people charged with breaking into Queensland farms

POLICE HAVE ARRESTED 11 people who allegedly forced their way on to farms in Queensland’s south west, as part of wide-spread animal cruelty protests.

Detectives from Major and Organised Crime Squad (Rural), State Crime Command, together with officers from the Darling Downs, Moreton, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast were involved in the operation.

It’s alleged the group is responsible for trespassing incidents at “agricultural locations” in late March and early April.

They were arrested at a number of locations across South East Queensland late Tuesday and slapped with a total of 18 charges, including unlawfully entering farming land (trespass) and drug offences.

A 29-year-old woman and 26-year-old man were previously charged with unlawfully entering farming land (trespass) on April 5 and were bailed to appear in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on May 9.

Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker, Drug and Serious Crime Group, State Crime Command, said the charges followed formal complaints from the owners of properties targeted by unauthorised protests.

“The Queensland Police Service respects the right of people to protest in a peaceful manner, however we have a duty to ensure the safety of protesters, farm workers and property owners,’ Detective Superintendent Wacker said.

“Unauthorised protests in and around farmlands and industrial areas create significant personal and workplace safety risks.

“We will take enforcement action whenever necessary to ensure the safety of the community and to protect the rights of people to feel safe in their homes and at their place of work.”

The Queensland Government recently introduced tougher laws for those who trespass on farms and abattoirs, including fines of more than $600 and possible jail time.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

Dog on beach

No need for more dog off-leash areas on Gold Coast beaches: Mayor

THE THREE Gold Coast city beaches with allocated off-leash dog areas are ‘sufficient’, Mayor Tom Tate has declared.

A recent City survey into animal management issues on the Gold Coast did not highlight a call for more off-leash dog areas, according to Council.

“We have three off-leash dog areas on our beaches now, and it appears there isn’t a strong call for more,” Cr Tate said.

“A recent survey into animal management, including dog off-leash areas, fielded only around 50 responses,” he explained.

“Those findings will be presented to council in due course but the feedback from around half of those surveyed was that they actually want less off-leash dog areas on our beaches.

“Further, a separate survey we conducted recently (Mayor Annual Budget Survey) did not highlight this as a topic high on people’s minds.

“We have three and at the moment that is suffice, and until the people of the Gold Coast want more, we’ll stick with the three we have.

“And the rest of the beaches are for humans,” Cr Tate concluded.

Click here for details on where to find off-leash areas.